The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) has rolled out an aggressive marketing campaign for 2004 with the objective of promoting and marketing the region on multiple fronts, in a strong show of support for its member countries. According to Hugh Riley, CTO’s director of marketing for the Americas, the organisation has restructured its initiatives for 2004 “to better utilise our resources” and to complement the strategies of its individual member countries.”
“The overall objective is to enhance visitor traffic to the Caribbean,” Mr. Riley said. “From nationwide promotions and targeted media placements, to special events and database marketing, CTO will engage the travelling public through multiple channels in 2004.”
Marketing initiatives include:
Media Promotions: featuring a cadre of interesting personalities as spokespersons; highlights of a diverse range of attractions throughout the region; opportunities for the media to experience unusual aspects of Caribbean hospitality; use of pictorials and a photo contest to take readers beyond the beach; and a Caribbean calendar of annual events.
Caribbean Week Events: in major cities, showcasing the culture, food, history, fashion, music and vacation special offers of every Caribbean destination. A series of town hall meetings will be included. Caribbean decision-makers, and city, state and national political figures will meet with prospective vacationers and friends of the Caribbean.
Trade and Consumer Shows: where CTO will seek to increase the number of travel agents selling the Caribbean by exposing them to the diverse product of the Caribbean in major industry shows. CTO will negotiate special rates for member destinations and mount Caribbean Sections at the Outside Travel Expo (CHI), formerly, the International Adventure Travel & Outdoor Sports Show (IATOS); The New York Times Travel Show (NYC); Vacation.com (Las Vegas); Travel Weekly and Addison Travel Shows in Canada; as well as Honeymoon, Bridal and other niche market events. The CTO/Travel Weekly Road Shows will be held again in the fall. Shows that also target the consumer, such as the Adventures in Travel Expo in New York, will feature contests aimed at producing for CTO and its members, vital demographical profiles of the prospective vacationer.
Consumer Promotions: in conjunction with leading travel and lifestyle publications, Department Stores, CBS Television, and a series of major radio stations throughout the United States.
CTO Chapter Support 2004: will see new approaches to the business of selling travel within the chapters in North America. CTO has launched a programme to partner with the chapters in generating increased business for their members, though cooperative advertising in major newspapers and consumer events. By far the largest income generator for CTO travel agents will be through booking vacations on www.doitcaribbean.com.
E-Marketing to travel agents: on a quarterly basis and to consumers with monthly package specials. Also the targeting of special interest groups that specifically match the vacation profiles of CTO’s member countries.
Enhanced Support to Member Countries: including marketing and public relations, particularly the emerging tourism destinations. The highly successful CTO Public Relations and Advertising Councils are forums for bridging the gap between CTO member destinations and promotional activity through public relations and advertising in the marketplace.
Finally, Valuable Public Resources:, including two informative web sites, a member country web site directory, tourism statistics, a wedding requirements chart, and more.